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EXCLUSIVE: Kyle Walker explains what makes Erling Haaland such an incredible striker

Ryan Sidle

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EXCLUSIVE: Kyle Walker explains what makes Erling Haaland such an incredible striker

Erling Haaland has had a quite ridiculous start to life in the Premier League, and teammate Kyle Walker has explained what makes the Norwegian so good.

According to the stats, at his current rate, the Manchester City star will have broken the record for most Premier League goals in a 38 game season by February, beating Mohamed Salah’s current record.

That’s obviously as long as he stays fit and continues his ludicrous start but already he’s smashed the league record for getting to three hat-tricks in the shortest time possible.

Even as well as the former Borussia Dortmund forward was predicted to do when he was coming to England, he’s already shown he could surpass all those expectations.

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The 22-year-old is apparently extremely meticulous with his preparation to make sure he can be at his best on the pitch.

Both his diet and the fact he has some pretty specific requirements in order to get a good night's sleep have been reported on.

However, teammate Kyle Walker believes that it’s the Norwegian’s dedication that’s made him the player he is today.

“Obviously, he's come and set the Premier League alight,” Walker told SPORTbible in an exclusive chat when asked about Haaland’s diet.

“I think that's full credit to him and his team around him.

“It’s down to his dedication to the game, he's 22, we need to remember that.

“His diet; do I think that that's the big part to why he's had this success? It could be a small part, the small percentages make up for the big things in the long run.

“But I just put it down to his dedication to the game.

“I think his dad probably has a big influence in what he does on and off field the field. He probably looks at it and says, ‘Well, this is where I went wrong,’ or ‘this is what really helped me in my game.’

“As long as he's doing what he's doing, and he keeps doing it throughout the season and scoring goals. I'm not too bothered what he eats.”

Haaland has had a ridiculous start to life in England. Image: Alamy
Haaland has had a ridiculous start to life in England. Image: Alamy

Whilst most players in the league will only have to come up against the striker twice a year, Walker has to defend against him every day in training.

Some defenders might not enjoy that but the England defender relishes the challenge. “I enjoy it,” Walker said, “I think every footballer wants to be up against the best players in the world on a daily basis because it’s proving your worth to them.

“I think it makes them better players as well when they're playing up against good centre halves that we've got at Manchester City.

“So listen it's a balance that both defenders and attackers will benefit from each other.

“Obviously playing with him I've seen he loves scoring goals,” haven't we all...

“You have to treat these strikers and give them a little bit of respect?” Walker adds on how to stop the former Red Bull Salzburg man, “Of course you do. Because one slight mistake they can punish you.

“You're going to have to have a good game.

“I think if you back yourself as a defender, and believe in your own ability, I think that you can do well, but he's going to try and find ways and that's a game of cat and mouse, defense vs attack.

“What holes do I find in your armour where I can punish you, as a defender, you just have to make sure that they don't know them.”

Walker is impressed with his new teammate. Image: Alamy
Walker is impressed with his new teammate. Image: Alamy

Walker is currently on the way back from an injury but the 32-year-old sounds pretty confident that he should be available for the World Cup, saying, “Recovery is going well. I went through a follow up with the guy who did the surgery and he seems happy.

“The physio that's been looking after me from the start is happy. So full steam ahead now.”

The defender, who usually plays on the right of a back three for the national team, accepts that they didn’t play well in the Nations League but thinks they’ve earned the right to be respected as one of the favourites, after their performances in the last World Cup and in the Euros.

“We have to be positive, I feel over the past couple of tournaments with the World Cup and the Euros, you know, a semi final in the final, we've come so close, you know, to, obviously reaching the final goal.

“We do know that our Nations League performance in the summer wasn't good enough.

“I think it was a kind of a reality slap back down to earth. But I think it was a good one and I'd rather it happened in the Nations League, than the World Cup. Obviously, that's no disrespect to the Nations League. But, our main goal is to win and be lifting that World Cup come Qatar.

“I feel that we've earnt the right to be in contention or people to be saying England can go forward, with the recent results that we've had in the last number of years.

“We just have to go there, we need to be positive, we need to make sure that our minds full of focus on the job for the country. But don't get arrogant, you know, make sure that we keep our feet on the floor, as we have done in the last two tournaments.”

Walker has felt the pain of losing in the final of the Euros with England. Image: Alamy
Walker has felt the pain of losing in the final of the Euros with England. Image: Alamy

Walker has a new clothes collection with boohooMan and he thinks that three of his teammates could use some help with their own dress sense.

“I think I'd definitely give Bernardo Silva a makeover.

“As much as the Bernardo gets a lot of stick for his clothing and his fashion sense, he's kind of stuck to his guns over the last five or six years where he hasn't changed, so now everyone's kind of learned to accept that that's just Bernardo's dress sense.

“Rodri would be another one, probably worse than Bernardo, he's probably took the throne now.

“He'll be wearing like a pink t shirt and then something on his trainers will have the pink and it's kind of like ‘I've seen what you've tried to do Rodri but just really doesn't work mate.’

And from England, I’d go for Pickford. I think Pickford's dress sense could appeal to some people. But his dress sense is very designer labels and ‘look what I'm wearing.’

“Rather than just you're a goalkeeper, not saying goalkeepers can't wear OTT stuff, but you know if Haaland turned up in the clothes that Pickford wears you can kind of understand it, but Picks is a little bit too much for me and I’m kind of like ‘let's blend into as defenders and goalkeepers,’ we need to blend in not stand out.”

Walker is sure he has a better dress sense than England and City teammate Grealish. Image: Alamy
Walker is sure he has a better dress sense than England and City teammate Grealish. Image: Alamy

And finally a word for another man with his own collection with boohooMan, Jack Grealish, who Walker reckons would even admit the full back has a better dress sense than.

"I would have to say me, I think Jack would agree as well.

"To me, Jack's is too loud. Sometimes I like to play probably a little bit on the safer side, but sometimes you can have the safe piece of clothing with a little bit of extravagance. And that's like how I like to do it where Jack likes to go OTT on everything."

You can find Walker's boohooMan collection HERE.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Erling Haaland, England, Manchester City, Kyle Walker, Football World Cup, Premier League, Champions League, Spotlight

Ryan Sidle
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